A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

Archive for the ‘Parliament’ Category

Why I’m Voting Liberal Democrat in Oadby (Harborough Constituency)

Friday, March 27th, 2015

LibDems_StyleGuidlines2010.inddI am voting Liberal Democrat in the General and local elections on 7th May.  Why?

Locally it is a fairly easy decision. The Liberal Democrats have won a  majority on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council for several elections.  They have run the council effectively, budgeted sensibly and their councillors keep in touch and consult via regular leaflets and residents’ surveys.

They are also the only party who seem to be serious about the local elections as they are the only ones contesting every seat in the Borough.

The General Election required more thought, primarily because Nick Clegg  has had to make many difficult decisions as leader in a coalition was always going to be a tough ask. However, the party’s grassroots and many MPs are broadly social liberals like myself. A future leader is likely to be tougher on both the Tories and Labour if any cooperation in required. The Liberal Democrats have an excellent agenda for reforming government. They also have a strong environmental streak, coupled with clear, costed and moderate tax and spending priorities.

In Harborough Constituency, which covers Oadby and Wigston, the Liberal Democrats have been the main challengers to the Tories in every election since 1979 and obtained their best result as recently as 2005. Under our voting system, a vote for any other party only helps the Conservatives win again.

So on 7th May, I am voting for Zuffar Haq, the Lib Dems’  local candidate for MP who is a proven campaigner for the NHS and on many other issues. If you live locally, I urge you to vote for Zuffar too.

Same old prejudiced Tories in the Lords

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

More Parliamentary voting patterns, this time from our unelected legislators in the Lords.

Last night a move to throw out the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 was defeated by 199 to 68. The Regulations prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in provision of goods and services in Northern Ireland and have been in force since 1st Jan in the province.

The Regulations were opposed by some religious groups with a demo outside Parliament

Back on the red benches and 42 Tory Peers joined their “enlightened” colleagues from the DUP and UUP in trying to restore the “freedom” of NI businesses to discriminate against homosexuals.

Nice to know Cameron’s “cuddly” Tories are in fact still at one with the Tebbit tendency.

In fact Norman himself spoke and joined 41 other Tories in voting against the Regulations. Those Tories in full were:

Lord Astor of Hever
The Earl of Caithness
Baroness Carnegy of Lour
Lord de Mauley
Lord Dixon-Smith
The Earl of Dundee
Lord Eden of Winton
Lord Elton
Earl Ferrers
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie
Lord Hamilton of Epsom
Lord Henley
Lord Kalms
Lord Kimball
Baroness Knight of Collingtree
The Earl of Lindsay
Lord Luke
Lord Lyell
Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden
Lord Mackay of Clashfern
Lord Marlesford
Lord Mawhinney
Lord McColl of Dulwich
The Duke of Montrose
Baroness O’Cathain
The Earl of Onslow
Lord Patten
Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Lord Pilkington of Oxenford
Baroness Seccombe
Lord Selsdon
Lord Shaw of Northstead
Lord Steinberg
Lord Stewartby
Lord Swinfen
Lord Taylor of Holbeach
Lord Taylor of Warwick
Lord Tebbit
Lord Trefgarne
Viscount Trenchard
Lord Vinson
Baroness Wilcox

Only 10 Tory Peers voted to keep the Regulations, joining 51 Lib Dems, 114 Labour Peers and a Bishop. 4 Bishops voted against the Regulations.

Iraq Division voting

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

We now know a little more about two absentee MPs from last week’s Iraq Inquiry vote.

As I suspected, the Conservatives are not what you’d call united on the issue

Tory MP Quentin Davies abstained in the vote. The a former defence frontbencher described Conservative support for the motion as “absolutely crazy”.

According to the BBC, Mr. Davies “added the credibility of the party as an alternative government would be seriously damaged if it gave the impression of “cynically” shifting with the prevailing party political wind.”

Another unnamed abstainer – described as a “senior” Tory – described David Cameron’s decision to vote for an immediate inquiry as “intellectually and morally indefensible”.

There does need to be an immediate inquiry into the run-up to Iraq, both looking at political decision-making and military preparations. The Tories would look more credible and lend more weight to the case if they hadn’t hurried through the Nationalists’ Division Lobby at the last minute. As it is Davies and his anonymous colleague are partially right – it just looks like they were trying to get one over on Labour for the sake of it.

Meanwhile Plaid Cymru leader Elfyn Llwyd who also abstained, stated that he was “paired” with a government minister and continued his visit to Spain.

Finally 4 Labour ministers and a PPS did not vote. Can we assume all of them were “paired”?

Until like Davies and Llwyd, MPs state why they were absent, speculation is all we have.